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Fitness

Winter Run Club. Stay motivated over winter.

October 31, 2016

 

Winter is upon us, and personally we can’t wait to get our hands on mince pies and mulled wine. Admittedly, a huge challenge through the winter months is keeping fit and not undoing all the good work we’ve done throughout the year. The best way to keep going, is to find a goal. So it’s a good job that our mate Elle has one that everyone is welcome to get involved in! She has started a weekly run club, with a very cool goal in mind.

Where? TinyTY, Unit 27, Boxpark Shoreditch, 2-10 Bethnal Green Road, E1 6GY

When? meet 6.15pm for 6.30pm departure, every Thursday.
Whats in store? Between 4-6km  and week by week  building up running fitness, chatting all things running and getting social.
Is there somewhere I can put my stuff? Yes; however space is limited so please try not to bring more than one bag

The purpose of the run club is to get everyone ready for the London Winter Run! Which takes place on February 5th 2017. Think penguins, polar bears and a whole lot of fundraising for Cancer Research UK. It’s a 10k route, leading you past some of London’s most iconic sights. Also, if you use the code SIMPELLE3 then you can get a cheeky discount! To learn more about the run click here.

 

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Fitness

Leon Mckenzie, fighting for a cause.

October 5, 2016

Leon Mckenzie, the super middle weight boxer has had a pretty interesting career. He spent 18 years as a professional footballer,  before retiring and taking up professional boxing a few years later. He’s released a single, is training to be a councillor, and has his sights set on appearing in a film. Amongst all this, he’s a humble and an incredibly modest guy, who plays a strong role in getting rid of the stigma that surrounds mental health.  We chat about spreading positivity, Disney films and working out to slow jams.

So Leon, we’ve spent a bit of time stalking your Instagram! You use the platform to share positivity and inspiration. Do you feel like the sports industry lacks voices like your own?

“A lot of people aren’t as confident to speak out about issues. I feel like I’ve grown into that person and I try and be the voice of inspiration. Even on days when I’m not great myself, I try to bring positivity. One thing I do notice when I  post something to inspire people, I get so many messages and emails of thanks. It goes so deep when someone says, ‘Leon, you’ve saved my life this year’. When I hear these things it keeps me holding on. I want to inspire, before money or any of those things. If it helps people just by speaking and being honest with my emotions then so be it. It gives me purpose”.

 

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You spend a lot of time talking on behalf of charities about mental health, and quite recently spoke about Tyson Fury’s struggle with mental health. What can we do to encourage people to talk about it?

“When people get the flu, it’s pretty common isn’t it? And they will tell you they have the flu. Hopefully in days to come, mental health will be spoken about as openly. It becomes therapeutic when you speak about it, it helps you to heal. One of the best bits of advice that I can give is to just be honest with yourself”

As everyone knows, you made quite a big career change. Was becoming a boxer a specific light-bulb moment for you?

“The secret is, I’m from a boxing family. My dad’s a former British champion and my Uncle is a 3 times world champion. I’ve been in the gym since I was 7 so I always knew I was pretty tasty at boxing. When football took off when I was 14/15, I was fortunate to have 18 years as a professional footballer. I believe that everything is about timing. When I retired, I went through a few personal things and lost my way a little bit. I got in the gym, if your mental health is suffering, exercise is the most important thing to bring into your life. So I started training and sparing again. Boxing came into my life at the right time.”

Now obviously, your training and nutrition has to be strict in the lead up to a fight. When you can let yourself go a little bit, what do you like to enjoy?

I love soul food. Jamaican food, but man I can pile it on. My meals at the moment are meat, veg, meat, veg. It’s boring!

Do you have a pre fight ritual? How do you prepare for getting in the ring?

“It’s quite a big build up. At the weigh in, I’m pretty cool, calm and I do what I’ve got to do. On fight day, I’m quiet. There’s lot of emotions. I speak to my babies and then I’m disciplined. If I see you, of course I would acknowledge you but I’m shut off. If I need to relax then I’ll put on Mary Poppins or something! Even when I work out, I like listening to slow jams. Not all this loud grime stuff, maybe I’m getting old”.

Many thanks to Focus Fitness for allowing us the opportunity to meet Leon. He trained as a personal trainer with them a few years ago and they are now his main sponsor for his upcoming fight on 12th November.  Fitness offer government funded PT training courses, meaning you only pay back your course fees once you earn over £21k which is a pretty sweet deal. If you would like any more information about them, click here.

Fitness

Bad back, be gone!

September 22, 2016

Our backs take a lot of strain. Whether it’s hidden behind a desk at work or pulling our suitcases to the airport for our next adventure. Since we’ve only got one, it’s only fair to look after it. Which is why we were surprised to hear that 80% of people suffer from low back pain at least once in their lives and it’s also the leading cause of disability.

That’s where Lynne Robinson comes in. Remember the huge Pilates boom that took the UK by storm? Yep, that was her. Along with her husband, she runs an international Pilates education company. To date, training 1,400 people to teach Pilates, all over the world.

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The Times newspaper has hailed her as “The Queen of Pilates”, now we understand why!

Before we began our Pilates class, Bhupal Chitnavis spoke to us about the science of back pain. Bhupal has tons of letters after his name, but for the purpose of this post he’s a very well regarded back surgeon. One thing he spoke about, that we found very interesting is the link between back pain and physiological factors. Such as anxiety and depression. One suggestion is that anxiety can increase muscle tension, and since the back contains lots of muscles that are known to tense during stress, this can lead to back pain. Depression can also cause a change in posture and the desire to partake in physical activity can also add strain to the back.

So, in 2009 the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence recommended that people with persistent, non-specific low back pain should be encouraged to stay physically active and exercise.  Which is when Lynne decided to launch the Back4Good programme. Essentially, a Pilates class that will give you a gentle, balanced workout with the focus on strengthening the core abdominals that do so much for your posture and for supporting your back. Enabling you to manage your back pain without intrusive treatments, and correct bad habits.

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We had more than one, we had to!

We were guided through a 45 minute Back4Good class, and indeed it was very gentle. With lots of focus on the quality of small movements, our minds never strayed from the room as we concentrated on articulating our backs, and thinking about body awareness. It’s amazing how the smallest movements can make the biggest difference. As the movements were slow with lots of emphasis on the breath, we also found it very relaxing and you could feel your back loosen under the chilled atmosphere.

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We were able to see how after even a couple of months of the Back4Good classes, your back pain could be managed and relieved considerably. One thing we admire highly, is the way Lynne can help people take it upon themselves to solve their back problems in a proactive and positive way.  If you need any more information or need to inquire about classes, check them out here.

 

Fitness

Pound. Drum it like a Rockstar.

July 24, 2016

Its 7:15am, and we’re whooping, cheering and banging drumsticks on the ground. We aren’t at a festival, we’re at Gymbox. Sweating.

NaturesPlus invited us to the gym venue in Holborn to try their new products and get our groove on at a Pound class. We can hear the innuendos running through your head already. Or is that just us being immature?

“Pound is a full-body cardio jam session, combining light resistance with constant simulated drumming. The workout fuses cardio, Pilates, isometric movements, plyometrics and Isometric poses”

And wow what a way to wake up!  Some of the movements included holding squats and v-sits for entire song tracks. Luckily, as soon as you add the distraction of the drumming and music you forget that you’re working so hard. Which is never a bad thing! We were also guided through by our amazing instructor Jess Mckee, who shone with positivity the entire way through the class.

If you need to de-stress but yoga doesn’t float your boat then we really recommend Pound. The class isn’t just good for your body, its good for you brain too. It’s a great release, as you would expect from bashing drumsticks on the ground!

After the workout, we were treated to smoothies from Borrow My Blender. All of them included NaturesPlus new vegan protein powders, incredibly yummy! Alcohol free Pina Coladas anyone? We were in utter heaven as you can imagine. Now we aren’t nutritionists nor vegans for that matter, but if you’re looking for a plant-based method to compliment your training and lifestyle, why not check them out?

IMG_2243– Our class was at Gymbox, but if you can’t make it down to a class then you can find a venue close to you right here.

Borrow My Blender is a great business owned by fellow blogger Elle Linton and provided a pop up smoothie station of pure deliciousness!